The Subversive Act of Not Wearing Black Tights
A LETTER FROM: CHRISTINE CHUNG
So, that's me in the KC tights at a recent Volée meet up - the oldest (by a wide margin) and slowest (also by a wide margin). These tights are literally the ONLY pair of non-black tights I own.
I admit that I had a moment of extreme self-consciousness when we took the photo. I thought OH MY GOD, I am going to look awful compared to all of these younger, faster runners. Why didn't I wear my black tights?! What was I thinking?!
While I am a proud feminist, a lawyer/law professor, and try to focus on all of the awesome things my (short, stocky) body has done for me (e.g., two kids), there was a moment when all I could hear was a voice saying "why on earth would she wear a print on THOSE thighs?!”
But, then, I thought F&^% it. I like the damn tights. I need some motivation to get out the door on a freezing, windy winter day, and bright colors make me smile. And, realistically, if I don't get out the door, I am never going to get faster.
So, in response to your emotions survey, Sally, I want my clothes to help me feel a tiny bit subversive - because wearing tights like these when you are not super-fast or super-fit is a quietly subversive act for this almost 50-year old, black-tights wearing, supremely average runner with two kids, a spouse, and a full time job.
In my experience, the path to progress is often curvy and indirect - especially for women. We can't always destroy what’s in our path right away. Sometimes we have to subvert - and PERSIST in subverting - day after day, bit by bit.
Subverting can be difficult work -- after all, whatever is standing in our way (including something as STUPID as the voice in my head about my thighs in a print) didn't get there overnight. But, finally, one day, barriers to realizing our true potential will collapse under their own weight. All of those tiny, mindful acts of subversion will have destroyed the foundation of the thing in our way.